Through education and performance, Jazz Power Initiative transforms lives by fostering leadership, diversity, teamwork and self expression through jazz music, theatre, and dance.
Currently, the Jazz Power Initiative (JPI) serves over 200 youth ages 10-20 and 50 teachers in its New York City Based programs and many more in collaborations throughout the United States and abroad. JPI also works with seniors and offers customized training for executives in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center. Other collaborators and presenters include the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, United Palace Cultural Theatre in Washington Heights, Lehman College in the Bronx, LaGuardia College in Queens and the U.S. Department of State.
Jazz Power Initiative (or JPI, formerly The Jazz Drama Program) was founded in 2003 as a 501(c)3 non-profit by jazz musician/educator Eli Yamin and teacher/writer Clifford Carlson to get youth involved in and excited about jazz.
As jazz itself emerged as a way of musically expressing the Black experience in America, we believe this art form inherently offers invaluable lessons in self-expression, leadership, cooperation, out-of-the-box thinking, trust, respect and being present in the moment. We believe nurturing these values in our youth and communities through the power of jazz arts education can make the world a better place.
By creating new jazz musicals, recording CD’s, distributing scores and scripts and offering professional development for teachers and executives and workshops for students, The Jazz Power Initiative is building new audiences and stakeholders in the jazz arts through the media of storytelling, music, theatre, dance and visual arts.
Jazz Power Initiative is committed to promoting the humanitarian values of jazz and giving jazz artists including musicians, singers, dancers, actors and storytellers, meaningful platforms to create, share their knowledge and artistry, and pass it on.
To date, JPI musicals have seen over 85 performances in fourteen states and five countries, involving thousands of young people and their families in sustained exposure and involvement in the jazz arts.